In the case of the inspection of filters and oils, the most usual one, it is extremely important to replace all the filters according to the manufacturer’s programming, although if they are replaced in excess (before what the manufacturer foresees) it will be even better. In the case of various oils and vehicle’s fluids it is very important to respect the levels, since for example, with the variation of the fluid level a significant breakdown can be detected. In case the oil level drops a lot between change intervals, it could mean that the car turbo burns the oil due to malfunction or excessive wear. In case of lowering the coolant level of the car, it could happen that “it is eaten”, or what is the same, the head gasket has its hours counted. It is very important to pay attention to these details of the motor to prevent possible serious faults and to repair them before it is too late.
Another highly important aspects to control are the motor belts, both the services and the distribution. You have to check its condition periodically and proceed to its replacement if the timing belt has irregular wear or cracks in the rubber, which will indicate that the belt is ready to break at the least expected time, maybe because it is too old.
As for the distribution belts, the manufacturers already mark very precise and concrete periods to proceed with their preventive substitution. This belt should never be left unturned, nor only a few thousand kilometers, since the breakage of the timing belt would trigger the total destruction of the internal moving parts of the engine. The valves would be chaffed against the pistons, these would be holed and would most likely scratch the walls of the cylinders, if luckily a connecting rod does not bend. In short, it would end up costing a new car engine for not having changed a belt when it was time.
Likewise, all the components that accompany the belts, whether guide rollers, tensioners or water pumps, must be replaced with the belts, because if a roller breaks the result is usually quite catastrophic for mechanics.
In a inspection also gaps and noises are detected, to find possible wear on the parts that make up the suspension or the direction. The suspension ball joints with time can take gaps, which ends up resulting in very strong knocks against the chassis, irregular movements, a much greater and faster wear until reaching the total breakage of the piece, which could lead to a serious accident. In the case of the steering joints, the same. An almost negligible and unresolved wear at the time will almost certainly end with the replacement of the entire steering box, since the gaps and knocks will end up damaging its internal components.
As for the transmissions, it is necessary to pay attention to the dust boots, which do not show cracks or fissures. In case of presenting them, it is necessary to replace the dust boots immediately, since in a short time the grease stored inside them is spread and the dust and dirt that the car lifts get inside and act as an emery paste: sanding the pieces in motion and causing slacks and noise quite important annoying, even to be able to break the CV joint of the transmissions. In all-terrain vehicles it is very important to lubricate the joints and the cross-pieces constantly, in order to avoid precisely these disastrous results.
One thing always should be checked is the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). The VIN checking includes a chassis and engine number. While at first glance they may seem like a random alphanumeric combination, they are actually the opposite: every sequence, letter and number have a meaning. The most interesting thing is that they are unique to each vehicle, as a true identity document. The chassis and engine numbers, also included in the documentation of the car you are buying, are physically stamped on the corresponding parts (engine and body). Needless to say that the numbers stamped and those inscribed in the documentation must match, but also must correspond to the model and manufacturer of the car we are buying.
- The engine number identifies the manufacturer and series. As it is not normalized, the number of alphanumeric characters is variable. It is usually found in the block, but more than 1000 different locations have been detected. However, it is essential to know the original location to avoid being a victim of fraud or scams. It is also vitally important for the brand, engine warranty and safety of the auto parts. The engraving methods vary from riveted plates to electric pencil, passing embossed wedges among other variants. In some cases the engine number is visible, in others a mirror or lift a lid should be used.
- Due to the lack of standardization of the engine number, it is much more advisable to check the chassis number or VIN, which is normalized and provides a lot of information about the vehicle. It consists of 17 alphanumeric characters that allow identifying the origin, brand, model, year of manufacture and other details.
NspectACar always checks this information for you to add more tranquility on every aspect of your car buying.
In comfort systems, such as central locking or electric windows, doing a little review and lubrication in each inspection will reduce the wear of these elements and significantly lengthen their life. And in case of presenting a wrong operation or making strange noises, you should always review the systems in the Official Workshop to avoid that they end up breaking at the least expected time.
As we can see, in the reviews of the car, the saying “it is better to prevent than to cure” is good, and more seeing that a simple inspection can save the driver a good distaste for his pocket. Performing a correct maintenance to the vehicle ends up being much more economical in the long term.